It's not only the day after, but also four days after the infamous 11-M
. I was following the whole stuff from Italy, with the weird sensation of being a 11-S in reverse: CNN was showing images from spanish TV, instead of the other way round; all italian and international TVs avaliable in the hotel were following the events, and I stopped by a computer every little while for an update of events.
It was quite clear from the very beginning that the magnitude of the tragedy was too much for any local terrorist group. But the government tried to pin it on ETA, and they were wrong. Even if they soon started saying that "they were following all leads", they should have said it in reverse: it's most probably Al Qaeda, but "we don't rule out ETA". They were very wrong in believing their adversaries: if it was by Al Qaeda, it was all their fault. By not admitting it, they lost not only those that were already lost and who where going to blame them anyways, but also some followers who were upset not by their handling of the crisis, which was quite efficient, but on their handling of who was guilty and why.
This has probably been a constant in this second term by the popular party. And old spanish saying goes "Dame pan y dime tonto", give me bread and call me a fool. This government had a very efficient economic minister, and, in general, it has managed to increase wealth of the average spaniard, and decrease the average difference with Europe. But it has mismanaged almost all crisis in the public relations front, and has been too keen on giving situations a spin that could keep them in power. Hubris is blindness.
On the other hand, this has been accompanied by a continuous, and often insidious attack, by media conglomerates close to the then-opposing, next-ruling, party. Figting spin with spin, lies with more lies, and, sometimes, insults and physical rocks, they have managed to convince vast sectors of the population that the government is guilty also of the rain or lack thereof.
That said, I can't help but cringe when I read that election results will encourage attacks
. Next time, please, send the marines to stuff some ballots, right? Or that terrorist have succeded in toppling the spanish government
. The spanish government is alive and well, thanks. We just have changed it democratically. And, if you don't mind, we'll keep doing it. Would Aznar's successor had been voted into power without the attack? Who knows? And who cares? If we are wrong, we'll vote the socialists out of power in four years. This is a democracy, remember?
On the other hand, Iberian Notes does not like what the people have said
. Well, tough luck, man. The people, as the customer, is always right. You're free in not liking it, but that's the way it is in a democracy. Whoever forms a coalition with the socialist party, and however they will fare in the next four years, it's a result of a decision of the people. If they retire troops from Iraq, maybe the US should have made a better case for it.